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Jake was sound asleep when his alarm clock went off. When the intrusive buzzing went into Jake's ears, a groan of annoyance came out. He watched the clock as it kept buzzing and blinking the time, which was 4:30. Ten seconds went by and the alarm was still going off. Twenty more seconds went by and the alarm was still going. With his arms and legs tied down and not being able to do anything, Jake finally yelled, "Come on, Mom!" In thirty more seconds, Jake's mom, Sarah, rushed into the room with a knife in her hand. "Sorry, honey," she said as she finally turned the alarm off.
As Sarah got to cutting the ropes that were holding Jake down, he said, "Mom, I really think that I can handle turning the alarm off and getting dressed for school myself."
"Yeah, sure Jake," she replied sarcastically.
"I'm serious, Mom. I'm starting to get tired of this. This happens almost every morning. The alarm will keep buzzing for a full minute before you get in here to turn it off. I know that you're also tired of this, too. It would be easier for the both of us if you stopped tying me up before bed, and for that matter, also if you kept putting me on a leash."
"No! Absolutely not! You know that it's against the law for me to not to do this."
"But according to the law, it has to stay this way until I turn twenty five! I'm perfectly capable of doing this myself. I know I am!"
"Jake stop being a hurry to grow up. You should enjoy being a kid. You should be glad that you're only twenty-one and in the the 15th grade. Pretty soon, you're going to graduate high school and you'll have to get a job. Most likely, you'll need a car for your own transportation and you'll have to get that at thirty-five. Also, are you sure that you'd want to have a life in which you didn't have to wear a diaper?"
Sarah finished cutting the ropes and quickly put a leash around Jake's neck. "Now Jake, I was nice enough to take the ropes off first because you've been behaving. Therefore I trust you, not to try to run away as I change your diaper."
Jake sighed and said, "Fine, I won't move, but Mom, I would love to live in a society in which I could get a job, and I could get a car, and for God's sake not have to wear a diaper!"
As Sarah was changing Jake's diaper, she yelled, "Seriously, how many times do I have to tell you? That's not how it works! Now not another word!" Jake groaned as she his mom finished the job.
In forty-five minutes time, Sarah washed, dressed, and spoon-fed Jake his oatmeal while the whole time he groaned and sighed. Sarah walked Jake out to her car while he was still wearing the leash. Jake was walking rather fast and with his mom way behind, the leash started to tighten around his neck. "Ow! Crap," Jake said responding to the pain. Sarah pulled the leash in response to his "vulgar" language and said, "Jake, you are too young to say that! Never say 'cr-," I mean, "that word" around me again! Actually, never say it until you're thirty. You know good and well that the swearing age is thirty."
"Oh, mom, it's just a word!"
"It's an adult word for adults! Only adults are allowed to use that word, not little kids."
"Come on, Mom, I'm bigger than you are!"
"You're not older than me. I know that for sure. I'm forty-six. I'm well past the swearing age, so I'll say whatever I want! You, on the other hand, are only twenty-one. You wear diapers, a leash and are still in high school. Therefore, you are not an adult."
A couple minutes later, as Sarah was driving Jake to school, Jake said, "Mom, I know how you feel about this, but please, do you think that some day this week I can actually drive the car?"
"You have such a great sense of humor, you know that?"
"Please? I really want to."
"You don't even know how," Sarah said while rolling her eyes.
"You or Grandpa could teach me real quick. Come on, I just want to drive one time."
"It would be impossible to teach you. Besides, you can't be trusted. You know, there are scientific studies out there that say that the brain isn't fully grown until around the age of forty. The adolescent brain isn't developed in such a way that you lack good judgement. Perhaps that's the reason why you've been going on and on about this 'I'm competent, treat me like an adult' talk."
"Or maybe it's because I am competent and I deserve to be treated like an adult."
"With your brain being underdeveloped, I don't know how I'm going to believe anything you say."
"Can you just trust me? Just once let me do something so that I can prove to you that I know what I'm talking about," Jake begged.
"You know what? I can't believe I'm going to do this, but fine. You wanna keep acting like you're an adult? Fine! Tonight when you go to bed, you're not wearing a diaper. Let's see if you can use an actual toilet like an actual adult."
"Thank you," Jake said, letting out a sigh of relief.
They got to the school on time, at 5:30. When they got there, Sarah and Jake got into the security check line. When it was Jake's turn to go through the metal detector, he walked through and the machine went off. The principal, who was standing next to the metal detector said, "Guards! Guards! Take the leash off of that kid, hold him down and carry him through the metal detector again."
As Jake attempted to take the leash off himself, a guard tackled him down to the ground and restrained him. "We got a troublemaker," the guard said. At that moment, two more security guards came and needlessly helped the first guard restrain Jake. The first guard removed the leash off of Jake himself and said, "Okay, let's get him through, but be careful... he's an independent thinker."
The three guards held Jake really tight and carried him through the metal detector. This time, the alarm didn't go off. "Okay, he's good," the principal said. The second she said that, the security guards put Jake back on the floor and forcibly put the leash back on. "Stay out of trouble," one of the security guards said as all three of them got Jake back on his feet. Jake looked at his mom, who had her face in her hands. She whispered, "why can't he just follow the rules. He knows that he's too young to take the leash off himself. He knows that the leash age is twenty-five."
Throughout the entire school day, Jake looked around and got annoyed seeing all of the students in chains and leashes. He also got annoyed by the putrid smell of human nature as his classmates kept wetting their diapers. Soon enough though, he had to be annoyed at himself as nature had called for him. Jake started to worry about his mom's challenge. He thought that he wouldn't be able to do it. "If I fail," Jake whispered to himself, "she'll never let me live it down."
"Jake! What are you doing?!"
"Umm... nothing, sir," Jake said as he looked up to meet the stern eyes of his math teacher, Mr. Bull.
"Yes, you were! You were mumbling something."
"No, I wasn't, sir."
"Okay, if you really weren' doing anything, then look at the board. Look at the board and tell me the answer to that math problem."
Jake looked at the board, and in big writing, it said '4 x 4 =.' "Uh... I think the answer is...eight?"
"Wrong!" Mr. Bull yelled in Jake's face so hard that tears were being dragged out. "You were daydreaming again, weren't you? You were weren't you?!"
"Ye-yes," Jake said hesitantly.
"Get over here now," Mr. Bull yelled as he grabbed Jake's leash and dragged him to his desk. Mr. Bull then took the holding part of the leash and tied it around a five foot pole with the American flag on it. "Stay there while I write you up."
Mr. Bull took out a piece of paper and wrote down: "Jake defied the rules; he's an independent thinker." Mr. Bull then untied the leash from the pole and dragged Jake to the principal's office. With the principal's office being on the other side of the building, they had to go through the cafeteria. As they walked through the cafeteria, Jake looked, in disgust, at the view of teachers and security guards spoon-feeding his classmates. He even saw a classmate and a teacher in particular who were causing a bit of a ruckus. The teacher was trying to feed her student a bowl of applesauce. "I don't wanna," the student said. "Come on, Jay, don't you want to grow into a big healthy adult," the teacher said.
"No, I want to stay nineteen forever," Jay yelled.
When Mr. Bull and Jake finally got to the principal's office, the principal looked up and Mr. Bull said, "we have an independent thinker on our hands."
"Tie him up to the pole" the principal said. Mr. Bull proceded to tie Jake up to the same type of pole that he was tied up to before and left to go back to his class. "What were you thinking about, Jake," the principal said. "Were you thinking about who you were going to share your sugar-free cookies with at lunch? Were you thinking about the colors that you wanted to use for finger painting? What?"
"I was thinking about finger painting," Jake lied. He knew that if he told the principal that his mom was going to let him go to bed without a diaper, she would probably call child and family services. "That's what I thought," the principal said. "You know, Jake, now I'm going to have to suspend you," As Jake sighed his principal added, "Don't sigh at me. You're lucky I don't have you arrested. You know that the independent thinking age is twenty-three. I know that you're only twenty-one, and we both know that you've just committed a felony. Don't give me any lip. Now I'm going to call your mother to notify her about this. Don't even think about trying to escape."
An hour later, Sarah showed up and rode Jake back home. "I'm very disappointed in you, Jake. First that stunt you pulled this morning and now this. I know that you hate the age restrictions, but you have to learn to deal with it," Sarah paused for a couple of seconds and then resumed. "Well, then again, those adolescent brain studies do say-"
"Enough with the brain studies! I'm sick of this stuff. Learn to respect me as an adult and stop throwing these brain studies in my face," Jake yelled.
"Those brain studies said that adolescents like to act out like this," Sarah said reassuringly.
When Sarah and Jake got back home, they were surprised to see Grandpa Karl lying on the couch watching television. "Grandpa, what are you doing here? I thought that you were out with the guys playing chess," Jake exclaimed.
"Meh, I was, but they started getting stupid so I had to leave."
"What happened, Dad," Sarah asked.
"I can't have a simple conversation with these people anymore without being reminded of how this country has gone to Hell in a handbasket. We started talking about the Presidential election and out of nowhere, they start deriding Jack Yonginwise just because of his age. 'People who are below the age of sixty-five have no business being in office,' they said. I just get sick of the ageism. It's pretty much the same crap I had to put up with when I was growing up, just freaking worse," Karl ranted.
"Karl, lately Jake has been talking about wanting to be treated like an adult at such a young and tender age. Now I'm starting to see where he gets that from." Sarah said while rolling her eyes.
"What's with the eye roll," Karl said irritated.
"I mean come on, we have all of these age restrictions for a reason. They're to protect our kids from harm. What if we were to get rid of the diaper age? Then we would have kids all over the place wetting themselves."
"If we got rid of the diaper age, then people would be forced to learn how use a toilet properly. Maybe with no diaper age, parents would be forced to do their jobs and teach their kids how to be well-functioning, good, and responsible adults instead of-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Sarah cut in. "Have you seen these brain studies? They say that the brain isn't even fully developed until around the age of forty. Why would we even try to potty train our kids with those types of results? They wouldn't be able to handle it."
"Pfft. Back in my day, they said that the brain wasn't fully developed until your mid-twenties. Next thing I know, they come up with all of these other age restrictions that do nothing but delay adulthood and now the brain isn't fully developed until forty? Oh, Jesus," Karl said his an eyeroll of his own.
"That was then and this is now. Your generation may have been able to live under such horrendous circumstances, but now it's a different day and age. Even during my childhood, the working age was twenty-two, due to the dangers of working. Since my childhood, things have only gotten worse, thus the new restrictions."
"You don't think that maybe, just maybe that things are worse because of the age restrictions," Karl said.
"Dad, I don't even know why I bother trying to reason with you. I tend to forget that you are a felon. You're hopeless."
"All I did was try to vote in a Presidential primary election. For one thing, I should've been allowed to regardless of my age, and second of all, that was all the way in 2008. It's 2064 now. Get out of here with that 'felon' talk."
"Grandad, you're my hero," Jake said.
As Sarah rolled her eyes and walked out the room, Karl said, "Thanks. You know people these days are so screwed with it all. Back in my day, the voting age was eighteen, the driving age was sixteen, you could work as young as fourteen, you could buy alcohol at twenty-one-"
"Twenty-one! Really," Jake exclaimed.
"Uh-huh. But America has gone to Hell. There were a number of organizations that actually knew how things should go, but the dream flew out of reach as soon as Glynn Birch was elected President of America. That's when things started to get out of control with the age restrictions."
"Grandpa, me and mom have this little thing going on. After I told her that I was competent enough, she basically dared me to be able to sleep tonight without a diaper."
"What's your point? I was potty-trained as a toddler. You are twenty-one years old. I have no doubt in my mind that you can do this. Show her that you can do this and then show her that you can walk without that leash, and that you can drive and so on. As a matter of fact, I'm going to take that off of you right now," Karl said confidently.
After Jake thanked him for his words of encouragement and taking that leash off, Sarah came back in and said, "Karl, just what the heck do you think you're doing? Jake, put that leash back on!"
"I'm letting him taste some freedom in his life for a change," Karl yelled.
"Karl, I'm sorry, but I want you to leave now. Get out and don't ever tell me how to raise my kid! And Jake, I won't tell you again, put the damn leash back on!"
Karl sighed and walked out the door. As he was leaving he said, "I never in my life thought that I'd ever come to raise an ageist daughter."
After Karl left, Sarah stared at Jake, who still didn't have the leash on. Jake got the message and put the leash in his hands and hesistantly put it over his head. When Sarah saw that he wasn't lowering his hands, she came and forced the leash on him. "Like I said earlier," Sarah said, "you want to be treated like an adult. Prove that you can be trusted tonight."
It was now 8:00, just half an hour left until it became illegal for anybody under thirty to be woke, and Jake was at Ben's house next door talking to him about Sarah's challenge while both of them were tied to a pole. "So wait a minute. She's actually going to let you go to bed with no diaper and chains on tonight," Ben asked.
"Yup. She's turned this into a big deal as if I can't do it or something, but I know how to use the bathroom and how to sleep without having to use diapers and chains... I think," Jake said uncertainly.
"Wow! You are some guy, Jake. I would never want to be in a hurry to grow up so fast that I'd actually have to learn to go to the bathroom without wearing a diaper. You're very mature, Jake. I gotta respect you for that."
"It's really not a big deal. You just get out of bed and go into the bathroom and... uh... you..." As Jake kept trying to think about it, Sarah came in and told him that it was time to go get washed up and dressed for bed. Sarah untied Jake from the pole that he was tied to and they walked off. "Good luck," Ben said as they were leaving.
It was now 8:25. Jake and Sarah were in Jake's room and they were talking one final time before she sent him off to bed with no chains, no ropes, and no diaper. "Are you sure that you can do this," Sarah asked.
"I know I can do this."
"Okay then. Good night." Sarah said as she left his room and closed the door for the first time without having to go through any procedures.
"Okay, I can do this," Jake said to himself as he put one leg up on his bed and then the other. "Okay, that wasn't so hard," Jake chuckled.
"Hmm... this does feel kinda weird without the leash, chains, and diaper, though." Jake, now having the freedom to move his arms and legs in bed for the first time in all of his life, now felt awkward.
An hour passed and he still wasn't asleep yet. Jake kept tossing and turning and then it happened: Jake had to go to the bathroom. Jake started to panic at first, but then tried to calm himself down. "Okay, this is what I've been waiting for." Jake got one leg out of bed and as he tried to take the other one out, he tripped and fell. "Ouch. Okay, no worries, just open the door and walk out," Jake said to calm himself. Jake got back up and got to his door, he turned the doorknob and pulled the door open. He walked out of his room and turned right, he saw that bathroom. He walked towards the bathroom and then he started to notice how dark it was so he started to run. He got in and closed the door. He turned the bathroom light on and let out a sigh of relief. "Hmm... I don't think I even have to go anymore." Jake said. However, something didn't feel right. When Jake looked down, he saw a big wet spot on his pajamas. "Oh no," Jake screamed. Within a couple of seconds, Sarah showed up and opened the bathroom door. When Sarah saw Jake, she yelled, "I knew it! I just freaking knew it! I told you that you couldn't do this, but you just had to try to be an adult."
"I-I'm s-s-sorry, Mom."
"Oh no, I don't want to hear it. You see-," As Sarah was about to finish the sentence, she was knocked down to the ground by police officers. "Sarah Wade, you are under arrest for endangering the safety and well-being of a minor. You have the right to remain silent. Anything that you say can and will be held against you in the court of law." As the officers read Sarah her miranda rights, Ben and his mom appeared. Ben's mom said, "Sarah, I can't believe that you'd do something like this. Letting your twenty-one year old son go to sleep with no diaper and chains, what is wrong with you?"
Ben looked at Jake and said, "I'm sorry, but I had to tell. She was putting your life in danger by letting you sleep without those ropes on. I couldn't keep quiet. I told for your own good."
"But all she was did was let me sleep without chains on for a change. You know, something that you guys do all of the time," Jake yelled at the officers.
"Yes, but we're adults. We're allowed to sleep without diapers and chains on, you're not. She let you and now you've wet yourself.
Speaking of endangering the safety of minors," an officer said, turning to Ben's mom, "you're under arrest for endangering the safety and welfare of a minor. Do you know how late it is. It is against the law for people under thirty to be woke at this time. I'm going to have to take you in."
"Oh Mom, don't you know any better," Ben questioned.
"I'm sorry, I swear. I just... all man, just take me away. I deserve to be punished for keeping my twenty-two year old son up so late."
As the officer was handcuffing Ben's mom, he asked, "I know that this isn't any of my business, but how old are you?"
"Sir, I am thirty-eight years old," Ben's mom replied.
"Oh! No wonder why you made that mistake then. Have you ever read about a brain study that came out a couple of months ago about..." the officer said as he walked away with Ben's mom.
5 May 2008